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European Group of Governmental Experts on Dementia meets online

Tuesday 08 December 2020

The European Group of Governmental Experts on Dementia has held its final meeting of 2020, connecting online to exchange updates and knowledge on the most recent and relevant developments in relation to dementia. The meeting was attended by representatives of 18 countries, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England). Representatives from the European Commission (DG SANTE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) were also present in the meeting. In relation to dementia specifically, the group heard presentations on:

  • The newly-published Dementia Plan 2025 in Norway
  • A recent large-scale epidemiological study in Norway examining the prevalence of dementia in the country
  • Confirmation of the publication of a new Dutch National Dementia Strategy which will run from 2021-2029
  • Developments towards a follow-on from the French Neurodegenerative disease Strategy which concluded in 2019
  • The WHO’s ongoing work to deliver on the Global Action Plan on Dementia, as well as recent developments at the 73rd World Health Assembly.

In relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on people with dementia and their carers, the group heard from:

  • Adelina Comas-Herrera of the London School of Economics, whose research has focused on the impact of the pandemic in relation to long-term care services, as well as working on the Long-Term Care COVID website, a repository of resources and evidence focused on COVID-19 across care settings
  • The Italian Institute of Health on emerging data about the effect of COVID-19 in Italy and the development of a resource aimed at supporting dementia care services to be able to operate safely
  • The Dementia Expert Centre in Flanders, which shared some of the lessons learned, particularly in relation to the importance of reducing isolation and loneliness in people with dementia and carers, as well as outlining the non-clinical training resources they produced.

The next meeting of the group is expected to take place on 15-16 June 2021.

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